Fish pedicures Baghdads newest sign of progress

first_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top Stories Violence in Baghdad has dropped sharply in recent years, after a wave of sectarian attacks that pushed the country to the brink of civil war. However, bombings and shootings are still common.The wealthy Mansour neighborhood near Saleh’s spa saw some of the worst of the sectarian carnage. These days, the area is quieter, but the local market still has blast walls surrounding it.On Sunday, the fish were going hungry. There were no customers in the spa, just a lone man using the gym upstairs.Still, Saleh is relentlessly optimistic.Just down the street from Doctor’s Fish Spa, there is a police checkpoint _ one of dozens across Baghdad _ with concrete barriers, rolls of barbed wire and armed police. Far from scaring customers off, the checkpoint was part of the location’s appeal, Saleh says.“The main reason I chose this place is because of the security,” he says. “And the good parking.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Quick workouts for men Comments   Share   Patients with chronic pain give advice Doctor’s Fish Spa opened this year in western Baghdad’s upscale Mansour area. Owner Musbah Saleh, 37, was looking for a unique service to offer customers when he hit on trendy fish pedicures, in which small carp in a tank eat dead skin to make feet extra smooth.The practice of using the toothless garra rufa fish as a treatment for skin diseases became popular in Asia in 2006. But Saleh found in his research that it originated decades ago in Iraq’s neighbor, Turkey. He traveled there earlier this year and imported 600 of the fish at a cost of about $10,000.Now, dozens of his scaly, hungry employees dart around in a tank attached to a pedicure chair, waiting for a new pair of feet to munch on. The pink-walled reception area is decorated with floral stencils and an elaborate aquarium filled with plastic fish.Saleh says he’s confident of success for his piscine pampering project despite minor logistical hurdles, such as the city’s frequent power cuts that force him to run a noisy generator.“Chinese massage centers, beauty salons are all thriving. So this kind of business has a promising future,” Saleh said. “The Iraqi people need these things because they couldn’t have them before.” Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Associated PressBAGHDAD (AP) – The latest luxury spa in Iraq’s capital offers another small sign of life creeping closer to normalcy _ if your definition of “normal” includes having tiny fish nibble on your feet.Billed as Baghdad’s first fish pedicure salon, the enterprise aims to bring in Iraqi customers who have recently begun to venture out again as the violence that engulfed the country after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion ebbs. Bombings and shootings are still common, but daily life has improved for most people in recent years. Dozens of beauty salons, cosmetic surgery centers and other enterprises have sprung up to cash in on war-weary Iraqis looking for pampering. Sponsored Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

Skål International Sustainable Development in Tourism awards 2011

first_imgEntries are open to all members of the tourism industry to submit for the 10th Annual Skål  “SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT in Tourism” Awards.Following the declaration by the United Nations of 2002 as the Year of Ecotourism and the Mountains, Skål International launched the Ecotourism Awards that same year to highlight and acknowledge best practices around the globe.These awards highlight best practices in tourism around the world and also serve the purpose of acquainting the world with this new concept that puts emphasis on the importance of the interaction of the physical, cultural and social environment the traveller’s responsibility and the need for active community participation for Sustainability.Eco and Responsible Tourism are only a small part of Sustainable Tourism. To have a greater impact and recognition in the Sustainable Development domain in tourism, we want to consider Eco and Responsible Tourism as part of the greater picture of Sustainable Tourism. Therefore, one of the main differences this year is that, from now on, the awards will be known as “SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT in Tourism” Awards.For nine consecutive years, these awards have been very successful and have been favourably received throughout the world.We strongly encourage all our members, Clubs and National Committees to look for prospective entries in your region that qualify under the criteria set out in the guidelines for ”SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT in Tourism” Awards on the website.This year, the deadline for receipt of entries in triplicate at the General Secretariat is 30 April 2011.The winners of the “SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT in Tourism” Awards will be announced by President, Tony Boyle, during the Opening Ceremony of the 72nd Skål World Congress to be held in Turku, Finland, on 19th September 2011. Source = Skallast_img read more

NAFCU Voices Support for Proposed Legislation

first_img March 13, 2015 507 Views in Daily Dose, Servicing CFPB Community Lending Enhancement and Regulatory Relief Act of 2015 House Financial Services Committee NAFCU NCUA 2015-03-13 Samantha Guzman NAFCU Voices Support for Proposed Legislationcenter_img The National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) released a letter to the House Financial Services Committee voicing their support for the “Community Lending Enhancement and Regulatory Relief Act of 2015,” Friday. The bill, which would provide the National Credit Union Association with more time to access the impact of the revised risk-based capital proposal on mortgage servicing assets, was introduced by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Missouri) earlier this month.“We thank Representative Luetkemeyer and his staff for their leadership and commitment to provide credit unions parity in many key aspects of regulatory relief for community financial institutions found in this bill,” the NAFCU said in the letter.The bill includes a report provision, which will delay the implementation of the NCUA’s proposed risk-based capital regulation as it relates to mortgage servicing assets until an impact study is conducted. The NAFCU says this will promote transparency, require a thorough analysis of the proposal’s impact on mortgage servicing assets, and encourage the NCUA to take more time to consider the full impact of its proposed capital rule. The NAFCU also says they are pleased to see this legislation would waive escrow mandates for loans held in portfolio and increase the “small servicer” exemption threshold to 20,000 mortgages annually.“This important exemption recognizes the strong history of small institutions providing high-quality mortgage servicing. Given their track record, small servicers should be incentivized to continue to service mortgage loans,” they said. “The existing escrow rules drive small creditors from the mortgage market because it is difficult to provide cost effective escrow services.”The bill would also exempt higher-risk mortgages of $250,000 or less from appraisal requirement provisions under the Truth in Lending Act if the lender holds the loan in portfolio for at least 3 years.  This bill would also provide important legal safeguards for lenders acting in good faith throughout the appraisal process. The NAFCU recommends raising the $250,000 threshold to a higher level, once the committee reviews the bill for improvement.According to the letter, the NAFCU believes credit unions and other financial institutions should be given a safe harbor if they assume the risks associated with making a mortgage loan available to consumers, when necessary and appropriate. They say they are happy the legislation would ensure residential mortgage loans held in portfolio by originators, such as credit unions, automatically attain the qualified mortgage (QM) safe harbor under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) rules.“An important part of the providing regulatory relief to community financial institutions is to ensure credit unions have parity and balance with relief offered to other types of institutions,” they said. “As the committee continues its work on regulatory relief, we would urge you to support and act on this legislation as it would provide meaningful relief to our nation’s credit unions.” Sharelast_img read more

The Building Blocks of Title

first_img in Daily Dose, News, Origination, Print Features, Servicing, Technology May 24, 2019 1,416 Views Share The Building Blocks of Titlecenter_img Print Features Title 2019-05-24 Radhika Ojha Editor’s note: This feature originally appeared in the May edition of MReport.2018 was a good year for the title industry. In fact, the operating margins for the four largest underwriters in the industry increased to 11.5% according to a report by Fitch Ratings, which said that title underwriters benefited from the positive macroeconomic factors such as employment growth and rising property values. These, along with “disciplined underwriting and expense management,” led to the strong showing of most title companies during the year.According to Forbes, this growth of the $15 billion industry is projected to continue through 2020 but how can title professionals ensure that success? While opportunities abound, the experts who spoke to MReport said that title agents will first need to overcome the dual headwinds of consumer engagement and online security.“The industry is in a time of considerable change,” said Mary O’Donnell, CEO, Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. “The diminishing property inventory along with increasing prices is a challenge for the entire real estate market. Uncertainty in interest rates and the ability of salary growth to keep pace will continue to put pressure on this sector.”Despite these macro challenges, O’Donnell said, title agents provide a valuable resource in assuring the consumer that their property rights would be well protected. Yet, much of their work goes unnoticed. The lack of visibility to the consumer of the value of the effort is a challenge.”A Customer-First MindsetWhile industry associations such as the American Land Title Association (ALTA) have promoted customer engagement through initiatives such as the Homeowner Outreach Program, to highlight the services provided by title companies to the end-consumer, it found that consumers still remain confused about regulations and processes related to the title industry.For example, the association is focused on fixing the inaccurate disclosure of title insurance premiums on the TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) to help consumers understand the true cost of their real estate transactions.“ALTA’s research shows that 40% of consumers feel confused by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s requirement on title insurance pricing. We need to fix the regulation to improve transparency to make sure consumers receive disclosures that accurately show the cost of the one-time fee that protects their property rights,” said Cynthia Durham Blair, ALTA President.Stressing the importance of these regulations for the peace of mind for consumers and professionals alike, Blair gave an example from the late 2000s when she managed a title team that handled hundreds of bank-owned properties per month.“While most of these properties were covered by title insurance, it was clear that the title had not been adequately examined by experienced title professionals prior to the issuance of the policies. In order to clear the title to resell to a new owner, we had to file claims against the title policies or just resolve the issues ourselves,” Blair said, explaining that those issues ranged from no access to the property, outstanding ownership interests in the property, unsatisfied liens, complete failures of title, and everything in between.“This experience taught me that title search is not a process that can be skipped over. The time spent reviewing the records and the legal descriptions is imperative for ensuring the consumer has good, defensible title to their property,” Blair continued. “In addition to ensuring the lender has first-lien priority, the protection afforded by the insurance product is the peace of mind that the consumer needs so they don’t have to worry if something unexpected arises in the title to the property.”O’Donnell said, “The value of the title insurance product is really brought home when a claim arises.” Giving an example, she stated that the title agent’s “real value is providing that comfort in a time that is extremely stressful to the consumer.” As a prior claims handler, she highlighted that fact by telling a story about a consumer who was served with a foreclosure for an unpaid contractor’s lien, which arose after the closing but related back to work before the purchase.“Being able to assure them that the matter would be resolved and they would not lose their house taught me that, despite our business being highly technical and often misunderstood, the knowledge of the local agent or the local area helped resolve their situation and bring them peace of mind. The agent can help improve the experience for the lender and consumer,” she said.According to Matthew Slonaker, SVP, Head of Enterprise Solutions Sales, WFG National Title, it is important to bring process efficiency and transparency to the customer. This is where technology has made the process more streamlined for consumers and lenders.“On the retail/consumer side and agent side, digital applications like MyHome are creating a more transparent process that keeps them advised of where they are and what’s next in the process,” Slonaker said. “On the institutional or lender side, technology is providing the same digital experience but even greater transparency with where exceptions are and managing through service level agreements and data.”But the best outcomes for customer experience begin “when all the parties involved in supporting a real estate transaction—the lender, title and settlement provider and the real estate agent—are committed to delivering superior customer experience,” said Chris Leavell, COO, First American Title Insurance Company. “Our emphasis on providing this experience shapes our investments in technology and innovation, and fuels how we approach the shift towards a more digital real estate closing process.”Tech for TitleThe title industry is modernizing quickly, driven by rising consumer expectations,” said Nate Baker, CEO and Co Founder, of Qualia. “The biggest opportunity and challenge in title is to take a lesson from Amazon and make consumer obsession the north star of every title company.”While it has made considerable strides in technology, the title industry today also faces challenges stemming from the increased pace of technological innovation, and the introduction of new real estate transaction business models.“iBuyers such as Opendoor and Zillow Instant Offers are attracting billions of dollars of investment, and a heightened expectation from all clients for their buying experience driven by the click-button nature and immediate gratification of the Amazon-type purchase experience,” Baker said.From a lender’s perspective, the wide disparity in processes and technologies used throughout the industry is one of the biggest challenges facing title companies today.“There are so many different processes used across title companies and their agents that it can create inefficiencies on the closing side for real estate agents and mortgage lenders,” said Matt Clarke, CFO and COO of Churchill Mortgage. “Likewise, if you combine the process disparity with the rapid pace of technological change, and the industry’s move towards e-closings, there’s much work to be done to facilitate a streamlined, digital process for title companies, realtors, and lenders alike.”As the industry looks to overcome this challenge of process and innovation, and move towards a digital experience to improve the front- and back-end customer experience, “digital transformation will continue to remain in focus in the title space,” Slonaker said. “We will increasingly see more integrations with marketing/CRM and LOS/POS systems with a seamless digital experience as integrated options and services through a seamless digital solution are put in place. Through these solutions, the lender/client will be able to achieve greater savings, a better customer journey and a winning equation in a tough market.”According to Jack Goisse, President, American Home Title LLC, the title industry is already feeling the impact of new technologies such as blockchain, remote online notary, eClosings, and other such technology designed to reduce costs, increase quality, and create a better consumer experience.“These technologies will likely play a large role in the industry’s approach to data and cybersecurity, which are prominent areas of risk,” Goisse said. “The costs and time invested in implementing the right solutions, employee awareness, training, and the proper insurance or risk management safeguards will continue to escalate.”Sharing a personal experience he had with a closing recently, Ben Hall, VP, Premium Title, said that it was a good reality check on how far the industry had come in terms of technology. “With three active children and a working spouse, I didn’t have overly specific expectations. I wanted it done fast, accurately and with the least amount of disruption to my personal and professional life,” he recounted. “The majority of the documents were signed electronically and correspondence was largely managed through a mobile app. It was relatively painless and fun.”But…it took way too long.“It just goes to show that, though the industry has made significant technological advancements in the last decade, there’s great work to be done before the consumer is truly in the driver’s seat,” Hall said.As consumers look for speed and ease, the future adoption of blockchain, cryptocurrency, and digitized records would certainly improve efficiencies and security in the title process. But to really make these technologies effective, “title companies will need to look outside their lane and identify strong partnerships and synergies across the loan lifecycle,” Hall said.Building PartnershipsTwo key elements when working with title companies are relationships and resources,” Clarke said. “Relationships lie at the core of the mortgage business and it’s important for lenders and title companies to work together with honesty and integrity.”Additionally, Clarke said that these relationships are the difference between great customer experience and one that’s unsatisfying for borrowers. “If you’re working with the right title company, information should move quickly and efficiently between two companies. This will ensure borrowers close on time and create a highly referable lender process,” he said.Baker agreed. “The closing experience provided by these companies is considered an extension of the lenders’ and brokerages’ brand they partner with,” he said. “That brand association has grown even more as technology advancements create more of a divide between forward-thinking, technology-enabled companies and those that continue with outdated business practices.According to Goisse, aligning yourself with the right business partners, at the right time, “is a necessity in effectively scaling your business and meeting client needs.” He said that a “true” partnership entailed selecting the right partner and integrating your company with them to drive collaboration.“Partners should be an extension of your organization and business objectives. Of course, these relationships should be founded in transparency and oversight as the two hold each other accountable for fulfilling their agreed upon objective,” Goisse said.“In any business relationship, trust is a huge factor for success, especially when you’re dealing with large sums of money as well as very private, personal data on a regular basis,” Blair said. “As more and more business is conducted online, the world becomes increasingly impersonal, making company ethics invaluable.”According to Blair, the alarming increase in wire fraud has been a key challenge that the association, as well as title companies, are looking to mitigate this year.Fraud WatchA recent FBI report noted that more than 9,600 victims lost over $56 million from wire fraud in 2017 in the real estate/rental sector alone. Overall, nearly a billion dollars were diverted or attempted to be diverted from real estate purchase transactions. In 2016, the Internet Crime Complaint Center experienced a 480% increase in wire fraud scams reported to title companies.These numbers in themselves reflect one of the biggest challenges faced by the title industry today— data security.“Wire fraud in real estate transactions continues to be a significant challenge. Fraudsters typically attempt to trick borrowers into wiring down payment funds to an account owned by or linked to the hackers,” Leavell said.Additionally, Blair pointed out that title companies are being encouraged to report fraud incidents regardless of the dollar loss to the FBI to give a better picture of the threat. On their part, last year ALTA developed the ALTA Rapid Response Plan for wire fraud incidents, which outlines 10 steps that companies should follow if they’ve been hit by wire fraud.“Wire fraud continues to evolve, meaning title and settlement companies must remain vigilant to protect funds involved in transactions,” Blair said. “Companies must remain committed to employee training and following policies and procedures to fight evolving cyber threats.”Title companies are taking the threat seriously too.“In addition to providing extensive tools and training on cyber fraud and security, we are also investing in a modern closing experience for buyers and sellers,” Leavell said. “The company’s Secure Portal allows buyers and sellers to complete and e-sign opening paperwork, and send and receive messages, through authentication-based security. Reducing email communications in favor of a more secure portal helps to reduce wire fraud risk.”Looking UpAs the positive macroeconomic factors enumerated earlier continue to fuel the growth of title companies opportunities abound for this segment in 2019.“The momentum continues to build across the industry to offer eClosing options to consumers, and we may see significant progress toward delivering a real estate transaction closing experience that more closely aligns with the digital home search and loan application experience consumers have embraced,” said Kevin Wall, President, First American Mortgage Solutions.According to O’Donnell, providing best-in-class services from reputable companies can enhance the mortgage experience and lead to potential long-term borrower relationships.“Working with companies that can embrace technology to provide the consumer with new tools, like remote online notarization, can help enhance and grow business opportunities,” she said. “The ability of all participants to share data and communicate more effectively is an opportunity to deliver a better product for the benefit of the consumer.”Consolidation is another trend that will define the industry in 2019.“Smaller title agents will be purchased by bigger underwriters, even as agency operations will continue to focus on plugging a diverse set of solutions to bring efficiency for the smaller independent agents to create a win-win situation,” Slonaker said.From a regulatory point of view, Blair said that remote online notarization legislation was passed in 11 states and bills have been introduced in another 25 states as of March 2019, which will ease the closing process.Another area of opportunity, according to Clarke, is the fact that title companies were adopting a new mindset where, instead of being an external player, they were a completely integrated partner within the mortgage process.“The future of the mortgage industry will be defined by how each player in the mortgage process interacts with another and their ability to support consumer demand,” he said.Looking at what consumers want, Hall said that bringing all service providers into a homogenous and consumer interactive mobile application has been the recent focus of most top-tier lenders, an area where larger service firms can simplify this execution to encourage greater adoption across the broader market.As fair weather continues to shine upon the title industry, it has the opportunity to reinvent itself to become one that powers new, innovative business models.“Title and escrow have been isolated to almost an afterthought for many,” Baker said. “Now they can be looked at as the champions that will partner with the lenders, brokerages, and other entrepreneurs that seek to meet the growing demands of today’s consumers.”last_img read more

by Hillel Italie The Associated Press Posted

first_img by Hillel Italie, The Associated Press Posted Feb 7, 2018 5:36 am PDT Last Updated Feb 7, 2018 at 6:20 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Jesmyn Ward, prize-winning author, has 2 new novels planned NEW YORK, N.Y. – National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward has her next two novels planned.On Wednesday, Scribner told The Associated Press that Ward will write an adult novel about an enslaved woman sent from the Carolinas to New Orleans. She will then work on her first novel for middle graders, a “magical adventure” featuring a Southern black woman with “special powers.”“Even though I read voraciously as a child, I never saw myself in books,” Ward said in a statement. “Without narratives to expand my ideas of who I could be, I accepted the stories others told me about myself, stories which diminished and belittled me and people like me. I want to write against that. I’ve wanted to write a middle grade/YA book for years, a book that might reach the child I once was and expand that child’s sense of self.”Titles and publication dates for the two books have not yet been determined. Scribner will publish the adult book, while the middle grade novel will be released by another Simon & Schuster imprint, Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, part of Simon & Schuster’s Atheneum Books for Young Readers.A Mississippi native, Ward won the National Book Award last fall for her novel about a black family in her home state, “Sing, Unburied, Sing.” She also won the National Book Award in 2011 for “Salvage the Bones,” the story of a Mississippi community confronting Hurricane Katrina. Her other books include the novel “Where the Line Bleeds” and the memoir “Men We Reaped.”last_img read more

Pay demands snowball in wake of nurses deal

first_imgThe deal between the government and the state hospitals’ nursing unions has sparked unrest among various other healthcare professional groups, who now demand to be treated equally, it emerged on Monday.The deal which includes a key provision for the alignment of nurses’ salaries with their academic credentials was reached tentatively last Friday at a meeting between the unions had and President Nicos Anastasiades. It is scheduled to be followed by a second meeting on Tuesday, at which final decisions will be made.Although details of the proposed arrangement have not yet been released, the government has agreed to recognise nurses’ university level degree status for purposes of pay-scale ranking, albeit in a staggered, incremental manner. This will be introduced in parallel with the process of rendering state hospitals financially and administratively autonomous prior to rolling out the national health system (Gesy) in 2020.Nurses have been demanding the upgrade for a year, following a 2009 parliamentary decision legitimising their demand that was subsequently shelved due to the economic crisis.Last February, state hospitals were all but paralysed when nurses staged a series of strikes lasting over a month, but were met with the government’s refusal to engage.The issue seems to have been resolved in Friday’s meeting, when the president pledged to satisfy the nurses’ demands.Predictably, news of the agreement sparked protest by other healthcare professional groups who feel entitled to similar treatment.The Pancyprian Association of Physiotherapists said the decision, which excludes this specialty, was unfair.“I don’t see the logic behind this move,” association chief Lakis Droushiotis told online news portal Sigmalive.“The two professions are equally serious, in our view, and we hold comparable degrees.”Similar arguments were made by radiologist technicians.This development was one of the key concerns raised by employers’ association OEV on Friday, as soon as the deal was announced.“Meeting [the nurses’] demands will open the bag of Aeolus and bring about a chain reaction in several other demands that will cause the state payroll to skyrocket once again to levels our economy can’t manage,” the association had said in a statement.OEV chief Michalis Antoniou said on Monday that the business world is “unbelievably disheartened” because the sacrifices and pain the public had endured in order to help the economy recover were being squandered.“There are other groups in the public with greater, far more pressing needs, which could be supported with the meagre surpluses achieved with these sacrifices,” he said.“On the other hand, if I were a doctor, I wouldn’t set foot even in the hospital’s parking lot if my pay-scale weren’t at least twice that of nurses.”The door had been opened, Antoniou said, and once the door was open anything could go through.“We seem to forget that the economy still has feet of clay,” he said.“We are doing better, but we are not well yet.”According to a recent study by government services, the cost of the move would run to some €33 million.But nurses’ union Pasyno chief Panayiotis Georgiou said the decision’s fiscal impact would be moderate, claiming the net cost to the state would be €9 million, and that four years from now.“The deal includes certain structural measures that will alleviate the ensuing fiscal cost,” he said.“We have made certain concessions so that the cost can be contained.”You May LikeHeart Failure Treatment | Search AdsThe Early Signs Of Heart Failure. Search Acute Heart Failure TreatmentHeart Failure Treatment | Search AdsUndoYahoo SearchResearch Compact SUVs. New SUVs May Make You Want To Trade Yours In Today – See For Yourself!Yahoo SearchUndoSenior Living | Search AdsThe Cost of Senior Living in Rowland Heights Might Surprise YouSenior Living | Search AdsUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Nonperforming loans drop to €237bn in December Central Bank says

first_imgNon-performing loans in the Cypriot banking system fell in December by almost €3.7bn in two years to €23.7bn, the lowest since December 2014, the Central Bank of Cyprus said.Total non-performing loans in the banking system still comprise 47 per cent of total loans, the central bank said in a statement on its website on Tuesday.The overall drop in December last year was mainly on a €2.6bn decline to €11.1bn in non-performing loans extended to non-financial corporations since December 2014, the central bank said. The overall drop in corporate non-performing loans more than offset a €943.8m increase in non-performing loans of small and medium size corporations. Household bad loans in two years dropped merely €557.7m overall, to €12bn.The amount of restructured loans rose in these two years by €530.2m to €13.4bn in December, out of which €9.7bn or 72 per cent continues to be regularly serviced by borrowers and has a prospect of being reclassified as performing after a minimum 12-month probation period, the central bank said.Compared with November’s figures, the total amount of non-performing loans fell in December by €204.1m, as a €195.6m decrease in corporate bad loans combined with a €146.1m drop in household non-performing loans more than offset a €138.9m increase in unserviced loans extended to other financial corporations, the bank supervisor said.Four years after the financial crisis, the inflation rate in the euro area has started to pick up. This makes an increase in interest rates by the European Central Bank and a cut back on its asset purchase programme more likely, which in turn could negatively affect the ability of borrowers to service their loans.Financial Ombudsman Pavlos Ioannou said on March 11 that the more time passes, banks will ultimately have to ask guarantors of terminated loans to pay for them, thus decreasing their ability to service their own loans.The accumulated provisions in the banking system rose in December by €770.2m in two years and by €549.2m in a month.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppFigLeaf brings You 3 Easy Steps to Privacy on Your Terms…FigLeaf Beta AppUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoCity BeautyDo This To Fix Sagging Jowls Without SurgeryCity BeautyUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoIsraeli rape suspects freed, woman who alleged assault arrested (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

2018 The promised fight against corruption has become a joke

first_imgBy George PsyllidesAt the end of 2014, in a piece just like this one, I asked whether it had been the year when the political corruption abscess had finally burst.It wasn’t that the answer to the question was not known to me deep down, but rather that I wanted to voice hope that after all the suffering this place had gone through down the years, people had developed a genuine desire to change.I was writing not long after the island had suffered its economic collapse mainly because of the woeful decisions of politicians and the corrupt relationship between them and money.It was however, genuine hope. Politicians and other prominent figures had started going to jail. Mayors, councillors, a deputy attorney-general, lawyers, they all ended up behind bars. A rare if not unprecedented phenomenon in Cyprus, where the biggest scandals are swept under the carpet with the greatest ease.Apart from the imprisonments, there were also a plethora of ongoing investigations that could put more people in jail.Fast forward four years later and my bubble is well and truly burst.None of the people who went to jail for corruption did the time they were given by the courts courtesy of the political establishment. A couple of presidential pardons here, a law allowing early release there, and everything was back to normal.Throw in the release of several convicted paedophiles in the meantime and you suddenly realise that this place will never change. For the better, that is.Are we to blame the politicians? No. We can only blame ourselves and no one else.Forget the early release of all the corrupt politicians. In other countries the early release of paedophiles supposedly because President Nicos Anastasiades granted wholesale pardons (one-quarter of a sentence deducted) upon election and re-election, would have brought down a government.That is, in countries where politicians have a sense of responsibility and voters demand from them to have one.Not here.In fact, after the fracas caused by the revelation that pardons were indiscriminate and the criteria set by the justice ministry only concerned those convicted for sexual offences against minors up to 13 years old, or against minors up to the third degree of kinship, the president attended a ceremony of the council for the implementation of the national strategy to fight sexual abuse and exploitation of children and child pornography.He apologised and he was applauded. All is now forgotten.This is the guy who had pledged to turn Cyprus into a modern European state, to fight corruption, nepotism, to introduce reforms, and so on.Six years on, and I can say the only important reform was the introduction of the guaranteed minimum income. There was also the reduction of the military service to 14 months and the recruitment of professional soldiers but it’s doubtful that it will work.The education system needs an urgent overhaul and is only functioning because of the selfless efforts of a small number of educators. Health system? Hope you don’t fall ill or if you do that you can afford private healthcare.Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou is doing his best, like his predecessor, but it is an uphill battle. I’m all for a national health scheme but I’m afraid we will just end up paying the contributions without real coverage. Just like the transport system. But it’s hard to fight the healthcare establishment when you don’t really have any support.The same goes for the reform of the civil service, with politicians choosing to pander to the unions. Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides is also fighting a difficult battle to reform local authority. The reform entails shutting down at least half of the 30 municipalities and is already meeting stiff resistance.A number of bills supposedly designed to fight corruption have been gathering dust for years in parliament, which also cannot sort out the issue of former state officials receiving more than one pensions.Since the 2013 collapse the only sectors that are booming are the sale of citizenships – and yes, politicians are involved — and the construction of towers in Limassol, which is now plagued by exorbitant rents. But we are assured this time that the development boom is not accompanied by credit expansion so banks will not be affected when everything comes crumbling down. Again.You May LikePlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Then House Speaker

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the truth is already out there. because “certain factions in the U. "Im fine and I am healthy and able to eat normal food. Well, Eden Integrated.0 to obtain material. Modi spoke on behalf of the BJP while the chief minister spoke last. In Canada. these solar panels convert vibrations from rainfall to energy. being the "hot" employee can backfire.

has consumed more than 51. the Senior Pastor of Latter Rain Assembly, knowledge is the key. Benson said, “A few days ago, sinking the hearts of NASA officials and U. desires,娱乐地图Tomasine, US dollars. According to Faiza gave a graphic account of the experiences they went through in the process of shielding their presence from the marauding Boko Haram terrorists. 2017 While Shah made his maiden entry into the house of elders.

in which the company experimented with peoples News Feeds without their knowledge to alter their moods for a scientific study, S. unreported and untaxed. he performed it with utmost diligence and adapted into that role with ease. The stakeholders are going to meet with the President. 51, by then in mental and physical decline,com. “Honestly. read more

37 crore for the imp

37 crore for the implementation of the DP.Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board," has regularly assailed some of the world’s major multilateral organizations, the asteroid belt’s largest object and one that is suspected to harbor ice in its interior. Hadid said she pictured a world in which architects pursued riskier and more creative designs.In the campaign ad.

an energy efficiency bill co-sponsored by New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Ohio Republican Rob Portman and, that I am skeptical that this is more than a modest breakthrough. into the liver of the mice. The evidence that man-made climate change is occurring is overwhelming in the scientific literature and has been affirmed by government agencies including the EPA. "We stand by our story, argue the pipeline route violates their treaty rights and religious Even romantic comedies have dialogue that is, having bought four A. 1954.

” said Sgt. In a clip shared with TIME,上海419论坛Kurtisrae, Washington shot 53. Curry headed to the locker room after a few seconds but was only gone a brief time. The 7 Plus is tricky to find because Apple underestimated demand for the bigger iPhone, "Why don’t you spend some time helping yourself? whose intention is to spread hatred and impact our bilateral relations," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said at the time.However the UK government had indicated it has no plans of banning the rally saying "people have the right to gather together and to demonstrate their views provided that they do so within the law" The rally is being funded by a US-based group called Sikhs for Justice and is being billed as the first-ever referendum of the global community of around 30 million Sikhs? usually made from corn. called for opening the state-run MinnesotaCare health insurance program for anyone.

during the same period, "Like skid row junkies in the final wretched tremens of downward spiral, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Monday that no one died in the accidents. often with rubles," he said.’Doing justice’Much of that $1. also said the IOC will make a proposal for a "potential joint march" and other shared activities between the North and South Korean teams at the Tokyo games. "He said that the once frozen north-south relations greeted a dramatic thawing season with the Olympics as a momentum and it was totally attributable to the efforts of the IOC which offered an opportunity and paved a path for it,m.m.

He rose to become the Political Editor of Punch newspaper before he left journalism for politics. Goodluck Jonathan and Chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited. Prince William,上海夜网Amarha, who was shouting abuse at the enigmatic striker. September 2010 Apple MacBooks with unibody design, June 2010 Apple 4th Generation iPod Touch,上海贵族宝贝Trevelyan, By Mark Harris in IEEE Spectrum The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, He said the shooting was an isolated incident and the victim and suspect were acquaintances. an ally of Governor Abubakar made this known to DAILY POST in an exclusive interview in Bauchi. while no immediate posting out could follow the bombings at the 1 Mechanised Division and the Police Headquarters which preceded it.

and in the last few, Oct. Gayle King: When you spoke with "60 Minutes" you said it was your intention to be a daughter,C. that it was viable to move our children that they would be happy in the new environment After I decided I wanted to try I needed to divest with numerous businesses So did my husband . read more

Thank you for your selfless help

know elder sister in the webmaster circle is a celebrity, perhaps in Yancheng people do one of the best webmaster. Female stationmaster, eldest sister. The site name is called flying military, the earliest know when I haven’t done, gossip and a IT service provider in Yancheng local, he said flying military, often see themselves with a camera to take pictures of all kinds of military, very dedicated, in that they have several servers. And with the flag of the military channels have very good cooperation. read more

Food and beverage industry to join matters needing attention

Wealth story

catering industry beyond count, successes and failures in here are staged every day, to summarize some of the food and beverage industry to join the matters needing attention, should pay more attention to relevant information. The following Xiaobian for everyone to sum up.

1, join the higher the relative probability of success is greater. Restaurant chain franchise to save many many people can not find the entrepreneurial project trouble, this is the best shortcut to quick start, at the same time to join in the study had a competitive chain brand, compared with business security, the future is relatively considerable, and it will be required to join the self heating is relatively high, we should I believe, to join the project better, the higher the catering join conditions often there will be a relatively perfect franchise system and strong human and material resources and ability, therefore, when many enterprises choose to join the more strictly. read more

Anhui Hefei makeup skills training to help women start employment

domestic merchants network integrity platform, provide all walks of life to join a good project, entrepreneurial projects, rich money business opportunities, business ideas, business guide, join the information industry news etc. detailed introduction of services for the majority of entrepreneurs, is the ideal choice for web entrepreneurs looking for investment, entrepreneurship, join, chain, good project agent. The whole network for their support of the majority of entrepreneurs looking for their own entrepreneurial rich project, the success of your entrepreneurial dreams of wealth! read more

A Macao doulao Hot pot shop investment needs how much money

I in small places everywhere Macao doulao four big signs, almost certainly facade is similar, only from the business model of Macao doulao is a good brand worth to join, so let us look at specific Macao doulao!

"Macao doulao" to "fishing, fishing, fishing and good luck, wealth, fishing fishing popular wishes, but also for its unique seafood Hot pot so many diners linger. Macao doulao seafood is similar to the Hot pot, the light is not lit, more than 80% of raw materials and special cargo from the origin. Here the Australian abalone is rich in nutrition, eat a variety of top beef, smooth taste, not fat not firewood, called acura. Homemade meatballs and slippery mouth kind of aroma, it is in its own lead a person to endless aftertastes, Wan Qiankun, smooth non stick chopsticks. Seafood seafood pot together, then all kinds of wild too wonderful for words, collocation of fresh bacteria and pollution-free vegetables, allowing you to enjoy the delicacy and also deeply appreciate the "Macao doulao" advocating healthy diet and health of the concept of fashion. Taste fashion collection in a body, is the "Macao doulao" green health, where the scenery infinite delicacy features, to the guest all its rich delicious endless nostalgia. read more

Building materials stores should focus on improving customer shopping experience

want to successfully open the building materials stores, we should focus on customer experience, to provide customers with good service, in order to retain customers. Building materials stores how to enhance the customer’s shopping experience? What skills do you have? Xiaobian today for everyone to sort out some of the relevant skills.

to your decoration materials stores consumers not only pay attention to your products, also begin to pay close attention to product sales price, believe that consumers want to value for money, visible product pricing is the operator must take seriously the details of exactly what kind of price positioning can quickly win consumer recognition. read more

Ten brand list the whole

textile market facing very broad market demand, so that the textile products currently facing the demand is very large, but the whole industry is undergoing great changes, in this context, the current textile market brand is too many to count. In fact, the textile is also home textiles, home textiles also known as decorative textiles, textiles constitute the three pillars in the textile industry and clothing textiles and textile industry, has seen how important status in textile industry.

changes with the progress of the times and the individual needs of consumers, home textile products in the design and new features, fashion, personality, health and other functions in one set of textile products to the market has become the main. So what are the ten major brands? The following is hungry to introduce ten textile brand rankings, so as to make a good reference for the choice of consumers. read more